Era of Upheaval - Of Legends and Heroes
Shards’s Story – work in progress:
Fate…such a simple word to describe a seemingly random series of events that can fundamentally change some one’s life forever….
Acrid smoke if all sorts of different nuances and shades were billowing all over the concealed laboratory. There toiling amongst the smoke and the sounds of various strange machine, devices and animals was the eccentric and brilliant dwarven inventor Thalmond Mechsmith, renowned for the fantastic golems he created, various automated tools, and other mechanized devices.
Highly sought for his dedication to his trade and imagination in building devices, he quickly rose from a lowly apprentice in of the many dwarven forges to becoming one of the most influential and respected craftsmen in the kingdom, plying his trade for the elite, even the for king. But as time passed and age settled in Thalmond became more and more aware of his mortality and frailty, at long last the dwarf found a problem for which he could not find a solution for. In his old age he had secluded himself in his private laboratory, passing over his assets to his clan to take care of them, he never bothered having offspring’s, considering that starting a family would only hinder his research and climb to fame and wealth. As time passed and old age starting taking more and more of a toll on him, he dedicated all his remaining time and efforts crack the ultimate problem…How to obtain immortality! The most obvious answer was to transfer his soul into an mechanical body, one that would not age, not die of hunger, or ever tire, that way not only will he be immortal but also finally transcend and be able to concentrate all his efforts and obtaining more wealth and knowledge. He built his most exquisite automaton yet, combining rare materials, such as ironwood, mithral, adamantium, rare gems, and other rare or precious metals, it almost saddened him that he didn’t bother to animate it and sell it to gain more influence with one of the more influential nobles or caste leaders, but at least it will prove to be a more than adequate new body for him. But no matter how hard he tried to use his knowledge as lead artificer of the kingdom, what mage he turned to for help in exchange for ridiculous sums of cash or what long lost tome of some long dead empire he managed to obtain through various means wouldn’t provide him with the knowledge he so desperately needed. he even considered making a deal with one of the denizens of the lower planes, he actually made all the necessary preparations for a ritual, learned the proper formulas of binding one of the more powerful devils of the 9 hells from some more power hungry mages and more infamous individuals, but was unwilling to go any further because all deals with such evil creatures eventually lead to you paying a price you weren’t willing to pay and what price will a devil ask from a man who sought immorality? Certainly one far greater than Thaldmond was willing to pay for, especially since his soul was out of the bargain.
Eventually he turned to rare and much neglected branch of magic, a type of magic that was said to be able to shape objects or bind those object or existing ones to a person’s body by using his soul. The first time he heard of this type of magic he disregarded it, considering that a arcane art that does not use spells or that would allow it’s wielder to bend the world to its will wasn’t powerful enough. Eventually he traveled to the land where this magic was practiced and sought the best teachers and scholars, to help him crack the problem he was facing. By some strange twist of fate, or perhaps just dumb luck, most of the time the two get confused, he met an wielder of the Incarnum Magic, as he later found out the strange magic was called, that was attempting to do almost the same thing as he was. The difference was that he was trying to bind his soul to multiple automatons at once in order to use them as soldiers for his kingdom, and save some lives and bolster the military strength of the kingdom. He was using automatons, very complex mechanically powered machine, and not magic empowered golems, because the magic empowering the golems would automatically reject the bound soul. Not surprised to find that some the automatons the mage, if you could call him that, was experimenting on where made by him, he quickly struck a bargain with the mage’s king. He would provide them with as many automatons they needed, if the mage would come and work on the research in his laboratory. Not willing to reveal his true intention he used the king’s greed and lust for power to distract him from answering that question, after all he had lots of practice “persuading” and “rallying” influential men to his cause, in the dwarven kingdom. As long as the king was happy he had an army of golems and automatons at his disposal he wouldn’t ask to many question, but the fool little did he know, all of his creations had a kill switch, as soon as he obtained what he wanted the command word would be given and all the creations gifted to the king will turn to dust. With the mages help he modified the golem with the proper gems to help bind his soul to it, and after much preparation, and much deception, the mage knew he was just sharing his research with a wealthy benefactor, Thalmond attempted to bind his soul to the automaton. He postulated that if the basic ritual would just allow the caster to control the automaton for a limited duration, an amplified ritual would only extend that period, he hope up to an indefinite period of time. And due to desperation and the desire for some result pushed the mage to amplify the ritual to a level almost beyond he would consider safe, especially if his benefactor was the subject. The mage cautiously stared the ritual; he never experimented with such a high amount of life-force and magical energy channeled before, the was really apprehensive about the success of the ritual and was ready to abort as soon as something went wrong, Thalmond’s objections be damned.
As soon as the ritual started, Thalmond started to focus all his will and the automaton, letting his soul flow into it just as the mage tought him, slowly he felt himself slip away as though very tiered and forcing yourself to stay awake, but ultimately losing the battle and falling asleep, but as soon as he thought we will pass out from exerting himself, the exact opposite happened, he suddenly felt more awake than he ever felt before, and soon found himself steering back at his body. The sensation in being in a mechanical body was strange yet exhilarating, no aches, no more feeling frail and no more bodily need, all he felt was….nothing, the sensation was strange and yet liberating, was this how it felt to be free of the mortal limitations he thought. The mage was relieved to see that the ritual worked, yet he was curious about one thing, will the ritual last forever as intended? A day passed, the a second, then a third, a fourth, he reached a mental high, he wanted even to discard the mortal body, against the advice of the mage, he said that they should keep it good condition for a while longer just in case the ritual didn’t hold. And surely enough on seventh day’s dusk, Thalmond lost consciousness in his automaton body only to wake up after a few days back in his physical body and that was a mixed blessing, considering he thought that his soul might get sucked in the Wall of the Faithless, since he never bothered with the worship of any particular gods, not in the biblical sense in any case, he did fake the worship of a particular god in order to enter the good graces of a particular church or wealth patron and secure a very lucrative deal or gain influence or favors.
To be continued